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A-10 Thunderbolt II: The Warthog

The Fairchild-Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II is a single seat, twin-egine, straight wing airplane developed in the early 1970s.

The first production A-10A was delivered to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona, in October 1975. The upgraded A-10C reached initial operational capability in September 2007.

A-10A Warthog 305, Major David A. Flippo, on display in Warner-Robins, Georgia
A-10A Warthog 305, Major David A. Flippo, in Warner-Robins, Georgia

Specifically designed for close air support, the airplane's combination of large and varied ordnance load, long loiter time, accurate weapons delivery, austere field capability, and survivability has proven invaluable to the United States and its allies. The airplane has participated in operations Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Provide Comfort, Desert Fox, Noble Anvil, Deny Flight, Deliberate Guard, Allied Force, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

The A-10 was designed around the GAU-8 Avenger, a heavy rotary cannon that forms the aircraft's primary armament. The airframe incorporates over 1,200 pounds of armor and was designed with survivability as a priority, with protective measures in place which enable the A-10 to continue flying even after taking significant damage.

The A-10 has excellent maneuverability at low air speeds and altitude, and is a highly accurate and survivable weapons-delivery platform. The airplane can loiter near battle areas for extended periods of time and operate in low ceiling and visibility conditions. The wide combat radius and short takeoff and landing capability permit operations in and out of locations near front lines. Using night vision goggles, A-10 pilots can conduct their missions during darkness.

Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II in storage at AMARG at Davis-Monthan AFB
Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II in storage at AMARG at Davis-Monthan AFBs)

A total of 716 A-10 aircraft have been built.

Technical Specifications: A-10 Thunderbolt II

Power Plant: Two General Electric TF34-GE-100 turbofans
Thrust: 9,065 pounds each engine
Wingspan: 57 feet, 6 inches
Length: 53 feet, 4 inches
Height: 14 feet, 8 inches
Weight: 29,000 pounds
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 51,000 pounds
Fuel Capacity: 11,000 pounds
Payload: 16,000 pounds
Speed: 450 nautical miles per hour (Mach 0.75)
Range: 2,580 miles
Ceiling: 45,000 feet
Armament: One 30 mm GAU-8/A seven-barrel Gatling gun; up to 16,000 pounds of mixed ordnance on eight under-wing and three under-fuselage pylon stations, including 500 pound Mk-82 and 2,000 pounds Mk-84 series low/high drag bombs, incendiary cluster bombs, combined effects munitions, mine dispensing munitions, AGM-65 Maverick missiles and laser-guided/electro-optically guided bombs; infrared countermeasure flares; electronic countermeasure chaff; jammer pods; 2.75-inch rockets; illumination flares and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles.
Crew: One
Unit Cost: $18.8 million
Initial operating capability: A-10A, 1977; A-10C, 2007
Inventory: Active force, 187; Reserve, 49; ANG, 107

Original A-10 Thunderbolt II Photos by Planes Of The Past

Fairchild-Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II ... the "Warthog" ... S/N 75-0298 inside a Pima Air & Space hangar
Fairchild-Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II ... the "Warthog" ... S/N 75-0298
Front cannon on the Fairchild A-10A Thunderbolt II
Front cannon on the Fairchild A-10A Thunderbolt II
Tail markings on the Fairchild-Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II
Tail marking on the Fairchild-Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II
A-10 Thunderbolt "Warthog" 288 on display at Eglin AFB
A-10 Thunderbolt "Warthog" at Eglin, AFB, Florida
A-10A Thunderbolt 681 on display at the Museum of the United States Air Force, Dayton, Ohio
A-10A Thunderbolt on display at the Museum of the United States Air Force, Dayton, Ohio
A-10A Warthog S/N 73-0667 in "Flying Tigers" paint scheme on static display at the closed England AFB
A-10A Warthog S/N 73-0667 in "Flying Tigers" paint scheme on static display at the closed England AFB
A-10 Thunderbolt II in "Flying Tigers" paint scheme at the former England AFB in Alexandria, Louisiana
A-10 Thunderbolt II in "Flying Tigers" paint scheme at the closed England AFB
Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II plaque at the static aircraft display at England Air Park in Louisiana
The 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing accepted its first A-10 in December of 1980.
Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II plaque at the static display at England AFB in Louisiana


Photos by Our Friends and Supporters

A-10 Thunderbolt II on display at Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks, Alaska
(photo by Michael Hoschouer)
A-10 Thunderbolt II on display at Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks, Alaska